Sunday, January 25, 2009
Wow, what a trip! The day of the inauguration was very very long and tiresome. We boarded the bus at our hotel at 2:45 am. We were on the pavement of the parade route at 4:30 am. Had to stand a line along Pennsylvania Ave. from 13th to about half the block toward 12th. It was about 5-10 degrees with a stiff wind from the start. They didn't even let the public into the parade route until about 8:00. We had to stand the line until 6:30 pm. We got warmup breaks throughout the day. They would let about 6-8 or us go at a time, the rest of the guys/gals would adjust their spacing for our gaps. We got about a 45 minute lunch break with box lunches provided, cold turkey subs, chips, pop (I had water since I don't drink pop). I bought several of those charcoal hand warmers and put them in my boots, gloves, one large one between my undershirt and my vest, and a large one in my hat. They wouldn't let us wear any wind/snow pants (we have great snow pants and wind pants that are part of our uniform but somebody higher up decided they wouldn't look good on us in the line up, stupid decision!!!). They said it reached 24 degrees but the wind never let up a bit and it felt very very cold all day. We never had any sun either, that would have been nice. We weren't allowed to turn around when the big guy came behind us. We had to be ever vigilant for possible attack from the crowd. Our sargeants were positioned behind us to make sure nobody tried to sneek a peek. It was the longest coldest hours of my 24 years. I didn't make very much overtime, 10 hours on the 21st is it. Not enough sleep time, and I took the pullout sofa so my roomate could have the one bed in the bedroom. The big huge speaker tower above me started out playing great soul pop music for the throngs of people. But after about 6 songs it became apparent that that was all the dummy brought as he kept repeating all those 6 songs all day!!! What a freekin' dope. As if they couldn't find some other good songs by black artists/bands. It was cool to be able to do it tho. We could purchase (and I did) a commemorative badge set that has a nice blue felt jewelry type box with a special badge, lapel pin, and coin, that were made up just for the cops working the detail. We didn't have to wear it either so I kept mine in the box so it wouldn't get mucked up. Maybe my grandkids will fight over it and one of them will sell it on ebay to buy drugs. I also bought a bunch of Obama souveniers for gifts for all my liberal family/friends. I even bought several boxes of Obama breath mint tins, they're a breath of change we can believe in. The people were very very friendly and appreciative of us, lots of "thank you"s and praise for our work. They sure do love their president to stand there all day just to see him walk by. They couldn't take warmup breaks or sit down because they weren't allowed to bring chairs in and if they left their spot they'd lose it. I'm glad I volunteered but now that I've done it I certainly won't do it again. Besides, I'm retiring in 3 years so they won't have another one before I'm gone. Maybe MrsBob86ZZ4 and I will go out there to watch the next parade, hahahaaha, don't think so.